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Dianne Watts was first elected as Mayor of Surrey in 2005 after serving nine years on City Council. She was re-elected for her third term in 2011. She serves on:
- Canada's Big City Mayors' Caucus (Vice-Chair)
- Canada's Big City Mayors' Caucus Policing and Public Safety Committee (Chair)
- Metro Vancouver Transportation Committee (Chair)
- Metro Vancouver Board of Directors
- Metro Vancouver Mayors’ Committee
- Metro Vancouver Intergovernmental and Administration Committee
- BC Mayors' Caucus (Steering Committee)
- TransLink Mayors’ Council on Regional Transportation
- PRIMECorp Board of Directors
- Provincial-Local Government RCMP Contract Management Committee (Chair)
The Mayor’s major public policy initiatives have played a significant role in attracting investment and creating jobs. Under her leadership, Surrey has achieved one of the lowest tax rates in Canada. As a result, the City of Surrey was named the best place in B.C. to invest, and the 4th best city in Canada, by the Real Estate Investment Network 4 years in a row.
She has spearheaded several key strategies including the Economic Investment Action Plan and the Build Surrey Program, which is the largest construction and investment program in the city’s history. Other important initiatives include:
- Innovation Boulevard: a network of health institutions, universities, companies and medical professionals located within one square mile in Surrey’s City Centre
- Surrey Crime Reduction Strategy: has become a model for cities throughout the world
- Sustainability Charter: guides the City’s approach to social, cultural, environmental, and economic sustainability
- Homelessness and Housing Fund: Surrey became the first municipality in B.C. to establish a fund dedicated to helping the homeless and creating affordable housing
- Poverty Reduction Plan: practical solutions designed to improve the lives of all low-income people living in the city
- Child and Youth Friendly City Strategy: identifies actions the City can take to promote the healthy development of young people from early childhood, through middle childhood and adolescence.
- Livability Accord: an agreement signed between Surrey, Abbotsford, Coquitlam and Langley to collaborate on initiatives related to crime, transportation and growth.
- Respectful Workplace Policy
- Whistleblower Policy
- Lobbyist Registry Policy
Mayor Watts was awarded the 2013 YWCA Metro Vancouver’s Women of Distinction Award in the Non-Profit and Public Service category and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the Justice Institute of British Columbia recognizing her contributions to public and community safety. In 2012, she was awarded a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal to honour the significant contributions and achievements she had made to her community.
In 2009, Mayor Watts was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International, and in 2001, she was honoured as the first elected official in the history of Surrey to become an Honorary firefighter for her work with the Surrey Fire Service and public safety.
Mayor Dianne Watts can be reached at:
Email: Mayor Watts